Chemise a la Reine
By Thimbles and Acorns
This simple white dress was made popular by Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, in the 1780s. Shortly after the birth of her first child in 1778, Marie Antoinette retreated to Trianon, a private residence given to her by her husband, where she could raise her children in privacy. At Trianon, there was no ceremony or etiquette, only the quiet company of friends. Everything was to be simpler, including her wardrobe. Her dress designer Rose Bertin, inspired by the muslin dresses worn by the women in the French West Indies, created a loose flowing gown tied at the waist with a large colorful ribbon. The new dress played into Marie’s romanticism of the simple life that she longed for and she quickly cast off her her opulent court outfits in favor of the new style. One would think that this simpler dress, representing a more democratic spirit and costing much less than the queen’s previous court wear, would have been celebrated by the people. However, when Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun painted her in it, the portrait launched a scandal. The dress looked too much like a chemise and the people thought their queen had been painted in her underwear!
Despite the public reaction to the queen, the Chemise a la Reine as it had become known, was quickly adopted by the fashionable ladies of France and England and soon became quite popular among women of all social classes.
This pattern is available exclusively through Pixie Faire. Click Here or on the picture to purchase.